(Clearwisdom.net) At the end of February 2004, Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD, an animal disease) broke out in 18 towns and townships of Qu County in Dazhou City of Sichuan Province. The local Government concealed the epidemic, totally disregarding the severe FMD plague and continued to waste much manpower and resources to defame and persecute Falun Gong. Qu County is the most notorious county for persecuting Falun Gong in Dazhou City. Qu County is the first county in which a Falun Gong practitioner was persecuted to death in Dazhou City.

Due to its notorious reputation, the name of "610 Office"(1) set up for the persecution of Falun Gong has been changed to "The Leadership Group of the CCP Dazhu County Committee for the Prevention and Handling of Cult Issues." The group issued an official document dated March 2004 entitled "Notice: A Well-Planned Inspection by Provincial and Municipal CCP Committees of Our County's Rural Anti-Cult and Preventive Education Activities" asking all levels of township CCP committees, government and relevant county level departments and CCP organizations to form "Propaganda Groups" in respective of township CCP committees, government and county level departments and CCP organizations in order to carry out this nonsensical political task with special allocation of funds. Each township would receive more than 2,500 Yuan (2) to train cadres, disseminate materials, show anti-Falun Gong CD's, paint anti-Falun Gong slogans, build and update propaganda billboards, utilize cars to hang up propaganda posters and photos, engage in targeted propaganda speeches, conduct artistic performances, seminars, etc. in Chengbei and Huang Jia Township. In the central school, the students were forced to listen to the speeches. In small villages, they would force the teachers to give speeches in all classrooms. The head of the "610 Office," Li Yuexue, gathered a group for inspection work.

At the end of February, 18 Townships of Qu County in Dazhou City had outbreaks of the serious FMD. Recently, FMD spread to Miaoba of Dazhu County, etc. The local government had concealed the epidemic and several hundred thousand domestic animals had been slaughtered. There was no report about it in the newspaper. In the eyes of government officials, playing politics and pursuing job promotions is more important than the FMD that is threatening the lives of the citizens.

(1) The "610 Office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.

(2) Yuan is the unit of currency in China, where the average monthly salary of an urban worker is 500 Yuan.